AMLC investigator testified De Lima not involved in Bilibid drug trade, her lawyer says

AMLC investigator testified De Lima not involved in Bilibid drug trade, her lawyer says
Sen. Leila De Lima to attend court trial at the Muntinlupa Regional Trial Court Branch 205 on August 16, 2019.
Office of Sen.Leila de Lima / Released

MANILA, Philippines — An investigator of the Anti-Money Laundering Council testified that Sen. Leila de Lima was not involved in anomalous drug trading transactions, her lawyer said.

Lawyer Boni Tacardon, De Lima’s legal counsel, said in a statement last week that AMLC Financial Investigator Artemio Baculi Jr. said in a hearing at the Muntinlupa Regional Trial Court Branch 205 that De Lima was not among the persons under probe over links to the drug trade in the New Bilibid Prison.

“We made him admit that in the financial investigation he conducted, he did not investigate [De Lima and Jad Dera]. In fact, he was not able to show any evidence that will show there is collusion between De Lima and the persons he was investigating for drug trading involvement,” Tacardon said in Filipino.

The hearing was held on September 25.

Tacardon, quoted in a statement from De Lima’s office, also said that Baculi testified that there was no case involving money laundering or of forfeiture filed against De Lima, over conspiring with people involved in the Bilibid drug trade.

Dera is De Lima’s co-accused in one case. Inmate Peter Co said he delivered P5 million twice to Dera. The money will supposedly fund the senatorial campaign of De Lima who was then justice secretary.

But Tacardon said Baculi’s testimony “demolished” Co’s testimonies.

“Yung prosecution pinipilit nila na drug lord si Peter Co base sa testimoniya ng AMLC. Eh kung matatandaan nyo, si Peter Co noong tumestigo ay dineny niya na sya involved sa drugs noong nakakulong na sya,” he added.

(The prosecution is asserting that Peter Co is a drug lord based on the testimony of the AMLC. But if you remember, Peter Co, when he testified, denied that he is involved in drugs when he was in prison.)

“It is clear that the prosecution failed to show evidence that would link De Lima to Peter Co,” Tacardon also said.

De Lima moves for bail

De Lima, in June, asked the Muntinlupa RTC Branch 205 to grant her provisional liberty citing what she said was the prosecution’s weak evidence against her and that she is not a flight risk. This was the case with Dera as her co-accused.

In August, she moved for provisional liberty in the second drug case pending before the same court, where she is facing a drug case with her former aide Ronnie Dayan.

The next hearing at Muntinlupa RTC Branch 205 is set on October 9. — Kristine Joy Patag




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